There used to be seven food groups. Nine planets. Wonder Bread built strong bodies eight ways, then 12 ways, then apparently not so much.
Several Detroit area landmarks were built during my lifetime -- Joe Louis Arena and Northland Mall and the Smith Terminal at Metro Airport, for example! All three were celebrated as great new additions to the city. All demolished.
Remember the Ten Commandments?
1. Thou shalt not place any other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain.
3. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
4. Honor thy father and mother.
5. Thou shalt not kill.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
Are the Ten Commandments still workable? Or has our so-called enlightened modern society chosen to eliminate some and modify others?
No. 1 still makes sense if you’re Jewish or Christian, the very people the Ten Commandments were designed for. No problem there.
No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 have apparently been dumped. Movies, TV, periodical publications and social media as well as everyday conversation is laced with names-in-vain and peppered with four-letter words. Most retail establishments are business-as-usual on Sundays. We have been assured we don’t have to honor a parent who is criminally cruel or neglectful.
No. 5, No. 7 and No. 8 stand proudly. We continue to agree that murder, stealing and lying are unacceptable behaviors. Ah, but what about white lies? Do we have to be truthful in all situations? “Yes, those pants make your butt look ginormous!”
No. 6 has apparently been modified as well. Adultery involves married people. If neither person is married . . . well . . . the latest interpretation is . . . . who cares?
No. 9 has been edited, too. We’ve learned what it means to be human and have considered the various troublesome aspects of the human condition, including a lot of desires and emotions and unwanted feelings. Remember Jimmy Carter’s agonized confession: "I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times." These days we identify covetous thoughts, but we are still not supposed to act on them. I don’t think Jimmy acted.
No. 10 also needs a fresh interpretation. People covet stuff – cars, houses, designer clothing, electronic gadgets, vacations, money. It’s part of that same old human condition thing. Again, self-control is the watchword.
Were there always Ten Commandments? Or did an additional tablet get dropped in a muddy puddle during Moses’s descent from Mount Sinai? And if there were more than 10, what would they have been?
Mr. Rogers hit the nail on the head when he said, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” I’d add The Golden Rule as the eleventh commandment, just for emphasis and because it’s so doggone important.